Leviathan + Magnetic Reconnection

USA/France/Great Britain 2012. Directors: Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel

A startling immersive, visceral, made-in-a-maelstrom mix of ethnographic, documentary, experimental, and hallucinatory filmmaking — think Deadliest Catch (or Herman Melville) by way of Stan Brakhage — Leviathan is a truly singular cinematic and sensory experience. “Co-creators Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel — both artist-filmmakers hailing from Harvard’s innovative Sensory Ethnographic Lab — offer us an all-hands-on-deck view of commercial fishing in the North Atlantic that is visually and sonically explosive. Shot off the New Bedford coast in the very waters where Melville’s Pequod gave chase to Moby Dick, Leviathan captures the collaborative clash of man, nature, and machine. Dozens of cameras, tossed and tethered from fisherman to filmmaker, propel the film forward with gripping immediacy, literally soaking the viewer in the sensory experience ...The chaotic cacophony of life at sea yields a perspective in constant flux, as we shift from the filmmakers’ and fishermen’s sodden points of view to that of their prey, captured with cameras plunged into the deep ...An exciting marriage of aesthetics and ethnography, thrillingly experimental ... Leviathan is an audio-visual tour de force of cosmic proportions” (Andréa Picard, Toronto I.F.F.). “The ne plus ultra of immersive documentaries ...They have discovered new forms of cinema” (Vancouver I.F.F.). Colour, Blu-ray Disc. 87 mins.


preceded by

Magnetic Reconnection
Canada 2012. Director: Kyle Armstrong

Alberta filmmaker Armstrong’s experimental documentary short contrasts the natural phenomenon of the Northern Lights with decaying man-made debris in the northern outpost of Churchill, Manitoba. Featuring an original score by Jim O’Rourke (Sonic Youth), narration by Will Oldham (Bonnie “Prince” Billy), and some of the most gorgeous images of the aurora borealis ever captured. Colour, 12 mins.





“An immersive cinematic experience ...Leviathan, which looks and sounds like no other documentary in memory, is likely to be one of the most talked-about art films of the year.”

New York Times | full review

"Leviathan enshrines both the forces of the environment and the men and women who attempt to physically interrogate the component parts of such a god-like fury—appropriate for a work of such Biblical proportions and consequence."

Slant Magazine | full review